Native Voices


A group of 10 current and former FFA members and FFA advisors from five states attended a week-long event in Washington, meeting with various leaders within the United States Department of Agriculture and other agencies from Nov. 14-18, 2011. The event was designed to raise awareness of rural issues and engage in advocacy for Native American youth in agricultural education.

By special invitation from USDA and through the generous support of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and Farm Credit as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, the group united as a voice in the national dialogue on identifying barriers and opportunities in agricultural education that lead to both continuing higher education attainment and career success in native communities. They also met to recognize opportunities for support and mentorship for agricultural education students in native communities.

Among the administrators meeting with the group were Kathleen Merrigan, USDA Deputy Secretary; Bruce Nelson, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency; Keith Moore, Director of the Bureau of Indian Education; and Brian Drapeaux, Chief of Staff of the Bureau of Indian Education.

FFA Podcast - Native Voices

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December 1, 2011
A group of Native American members, former members and advisors met with government officials in Washington, D.C. last month. The focus of their trip was to address rural and tribal issues related to agricultural education. Sound bytes include Lawrence Shorty, program manager with USDA and Jasmine Locklear, a member of the St. Paul’s FFA chapter in North Carolina. Run time: 3:00

Special Thanks

This opportunity was made possible by The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and Farm Credit as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.